Gabby Petito's strangled and beaten body was found in Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19, 2021
After killing Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie allegedly sent texts to her parents using her phone to pretend to be her.
In an amended complaint filed Nov. 30, Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, allege that after Laundrie killed Petito, he sent text messages "back and forth between his cell phone and Gabrielle Petito’s cell phone in an effort to hide the fact she was deceased."
The young couple was on a cross-country road trip and documenting their adventures on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok when Petito, 22, vanished without a trace.
Her body was found in Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19. She died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck with manual strangulation.
According to the complaint, Laundrie allegedly sent a text message to Schmidt on Aug. 27, 2021 – the day her family believes she was murdered - “in which he referred to Gabrielle Petito’s grandfather, Stan, by name. Gabrielle Petito never called her grandfather by his name.”
He allegedly sent another text from Petito’s phone on Aug. 30 to Schmidt “stating that there was no service in Yosemite Park in an effort to deceive Nichole Schmidt into believing that Gabrielle Petito was still alive,” the complaint said.
The complaint for emotional distress, which was filed against Laundrie's parents Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, alleged that on Aug. 29, two days after Petito's death, Laundrie “in a frantic telephone call" told his parents that Petito was "'gone.'"
That same day, Laundrie's parents spoke with their attorney Steven Bertolino "advising him that Gabrielle Petito was ‘gone,’ that Brian Laundrie needed a lawyer, and sent him a retainer on September 2, 2021,” the complaint said.
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Bertolino, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, tells PEOPLE he has no comment and “will be filing our answers soon.”
PEOPLE reached out to the attorneys representing the Laundrie family, but have not received a response yet.
The Petito and Laundrie families entered the international spotlight last summer when Petito's parents reported her missing after she stopped responding to messages while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. It was soon revealed that Laundrie had quietly abandoned the trip early and returned to his parents' house in Florida — without Petito.
In October, after Petito's body was found, Laundrie was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Florida wilderness.
After a months-long criminal investigation into Petito's disappearance and — later — murder, the FBI determined in January that Laundrie was responsible for her death, stating that he had written a confession in his notebook before he took his life.
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